YLONKA VERHEUL IN BEAUTIFUL FALL PIECES STYLED BY ELENA BELLINI IN FLAIR AUGUST ’11 ISSUE PHOTOGRAPHED BY EMILIO TINI
We had a chance to sit down and talk with Ylonka the day before she walked Marc by Marc Jacobs and to learn a little more about her background, her feelings towards modeling, her dreams and expectations. Scouted in a theme park in her home country by Tjarda from the eponymous model agency, the 18-years-old Dutch began slowly yet steadily in the Netherlands before starting “for real” (and full time) in New York two seasons ago then travelling a bit. So far, her heart belongs to the Big Apple when it comes to work, even if Paris has its charms too.
No surprise when you ask her what was her favorite job and we guess most models would have answered the same: her Vogue Italia spread with Steven Meisel. Beyond the prestigious aura surrounding any opportunity to work with the master, Ylonka was literally smitten by his way to work and how he both knows exactly what he wants and the freedom he leaves to his models. This fabulous experience was totally different from what she expected first and strengthened her feeling that modeling is more about showing yourself as you are, expressing yourself in your own way than simply embodying a new character each time (even if it’s a part of the game too).
All in all and we understand why now, editorials are her favorite part of her work as a model, insisting again when we asked on how showing true emotions are the key to create a character and how she believes personality is extremely important. What makes her most happy is when she gets positive feedback about this, when she feels more than a tall lean silhouette with a pretty face and gets booked again. Even if editorial seems to be her forte, she confessed her worst experience so far was also from a shooting, when she had to wait for hours trying to keep her mood and energy doing nothing while she just love working. But as you may have guessed already this experience turned out fine and the results were worth the painful moment. One more reason for her to love editorials…
Besides loving Steven Meisel for obvious reasons, Ylonka’s favorite photographers-list would probably include Mario Testino at the top of it while designers she truly likes naturally include Prada (she walked for it as exclusive during her first season – “you never know what’s going to happen until you have your feet on the runway”). In New York, Marc Jacobs seems to have her favors, mostly as she can perceive the power and love he puts on his work. Sounded quite like a prophetic vision for someone who walked his show the day after.
Ylonka Verheul takes to the streets of New York City in this Flair Editorial photographed by Jem Mitchell